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The Giants might already be at a pitching disadvantage against the Dodgers for Game 5 – SF Gate

Though the series between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers is tied at two games apiece as it enters Game 5, San Francisco may already find themselves at a disadvantage against its visiting rivals on Thursday.

The Dodgers’ dominance in the batter’s box has a lot to do with this concern. As Los Angeles players did whatever they wanted to when they went up to bat in Game 4, manager Gabe Kapler gave his pitchers a short leash in response, going through four guys on the mound in the first three innings.

This eventually forced the Giants to switch over to Tyler Rogers — who is, without a doubt, the Giants’ best reliever this past season — even though he was coming off of not only his earliest appearance of the year in Game 3, but also the highest pitch count of the season at 29. On top of that, it was his third time pitching in four days. 

That also applied to Jake McGee, who was the final pitcher the Giants called upon on Tuesday. While his appearance did not approach the workload asked of Rogers on Monday, he also has been asked to appear an inordinate amount of times in such a condensed period. The Giants can at least rely on the fact that they have a travel and rest day on Wednesday, but it’s hard to imagine either Rogers or McGee appearing in Game 5 at 100% if Kapler calls either of their numbers.

By the end of the game, the Giants had exhausted their bullpen and gone through eight pitchers. The Dodgers, meanwhile, only called six guys to the mound, with only one reliever, Blake Treinen, pitching more than one inning. It was enough to get some fans upset once again that Johnny Cueto, frequently called upon to be the team’s fifth starter, was left off the NLDS roster.

After Game 4, Kapler said that starters Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood could come out of the bullpen if needed. Logan Webb is set to start Game 5.

The Giants secured the best record in baseball this past year thanks in part to incredible personnel management that almost seemed to be made on the fly whenever it was required. Though Tuesday’s loss looked as though it was a more frantic recreation of that strategy from the dugout, if there was ever a team more prepared to overcome the insanity on the pitcher’s mound that just happened in a do-or-die Game 5, it’s this squad.

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